Friday, November 21, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Devil water polo girls came together at just the right time

DHS' Mara Dominguez, left, looks for a pass or shot in the section title win over St. Francis on Saturday. Dominguez scored the tying goal late in the contest. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise file photo

By
From page B1 | November 15, 2012 |

They were the No. 1 seed going into the postseason. They carded a 27-5 overall record and were coming off of three consecutive Sac-Joaquin Section championships.

Nonetheless, when the Blue Devil girls water polo squad emerged from the pool on Saturday with the program’s 10th title, it ended a fall that most schools would have considered a rebuilding year … and a campaign that required some TLC over the course of the season.

“In high school, you get what you get (each year),” Davis High head coach Doug Wright said of his talent-laden 2012 squad. “After that, it’s pretty much a chess game.”

After graduating a handful of college-level players last June, Wright understood his new crop would be formidable — Mara Dominguez, Colby Stapleton, Heather Johnson and Alicia Demaree were among the emerging cast — but he also knew the team wasn’t as tight-knit as some of his past champions.

Not a team divided, just girls from different social circles …

“This was the kind of year where we had to have some rough moments to kind of work through things,” admitted Wright, in his 17th season at the helm. “I thought, in the end, people were willing to understand that they don’t need to love each other in class or outside of school, but … need to come together in the pool, work with each other and love each other as a team.

“For the most part, we did that.”

In beating St. Francis, 9-8, in the title game, Wright said he was proud of how his girls grew together. He said he understood how the girls came from different groups of friends and how different it can be when a man coaches girls.

Wright said it is “an ongoing experience” to identify what is important to some of his team members:

“Sometimes guys have a hard time coaching girls. Over the years, I think I’ve come to understand the (difference). If a girl on my team thinks something is a big deal, it probably is … because they’re smart. I have to find out what it is that’s such a big deal.”

Wright invested much time talking individually with his Blue Devils. He said there was some contraction along the way — three girls left the team after deciding the sport or commitment time wasn’t for them.

“You have to trim a rose bush down a little bit to get some new blooms,” Wright told The Enterprise. “I remember what (soccer coach) Ashley Yudin once told me: ‘I’ve coached a lot of good teams. I’ve had teams come together and not win a championship. But I’ve never had teams not come together and win a championship.’ ”

Wright said his girls galvanized in a nick of time.

“Our goal was to win a section title … and they knew at the (beginning) they had some work to do,” Wright added.

From early on, DHS (and its reputation) dominated regional tournament and league pools. Powerhouse St. Francis, including the title match, fell four times to the Devils in 2012.

Down the stretch, Davis rolled through the first three rounds of the playoffs until — by the coach’s admission — it was outplayed for 3 1/2 periods by the Troubadours last week.

But the Devils came from two goals down to win.

Wright smiles when he looks back on the play that resulted in the game-tying goal.

“This is a beautiful thing,” said the former UC Davis standout player. “We called time out. I thought we had a power play (which DHS didn’t) and I’m drawing something up … the girls are looking at me like the old man’s lost it.”

Back on the attack, the Blue Devils understood their situation — equal strength, down a goal and the game nearing an end.

Assistant coach (and former Blue Devil and Aggie) Ariel Feeney received Wright’s praise for what she had taught the girls during the season as Dominguez and Company took what St. Francis gave them.

“We ran a loop play, not what I had called,” Wright said, laughing. “Mara went around Colby, we got the ball to her, she got a good look and scored. During the timeout we didn’t talk about that at all. It’s a (Aggie coach Steve) Doten play that Ariel learned at UCD.

“When the girls went out there and set up, I thought ‘Oh, wow. That’s pretty cool,’ even though I had no idea of what was going on.”

Wright said the play was something the girls worked on every day in practice. Dominguez’s goal set the stage for Stapleton’s title-winning shot with 14 seconds left and validated the coach’s assessment:

“When you look back, this team came together.”

Notes: Sophomore Stapleton and junior Johnson have been submitted by the Sac-Joaquin Section for All-American consideration after both made all-section Division I first-team honors. Blue Devil co-captain Lauren Owens also was accorded top SJS billing. Dominguez and Demaree were second-team members and Katie Van Deynze earned honorable mention status. St. Francis attacker Kaitlyn Cozens was named MVP and, along with other first-teamers Kaitlyn Thompson (Del Oro) and Lexi Chandler (St. Francis), is a Davis Water Polo Club member. In fact, 16 of the 17 goals in Saturday’s title tilt were scored by DWPC players.

— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at bgallaudet@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8054.

Comments

comments

Bruce Gallaudet

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
     
    UC regents approve 5% tuition increases

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    California unemployment steady at 7.3 percent

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
     
    A new home for the holidays?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Sierra Club calendars on sale Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Explorit: Lecture illuminates state water bond

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A3

     
    Apply now to take Master Gardener training

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Yolobus will reroute Saturday morning for Turkey Trot

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Help feed the hungry at Saturday’s food drive

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Volunteers sought to advocate for kids

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Village Homes gets crafty

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    .

    Forum

    Nowhere to go, nothing to do

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Davis voices concerns over new oil-by-rail proposal

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    Cheers and Jeers: Katehi front and center

    By Our View | From Page: A10

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    Council misses an opportunity

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Together we can do so much

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Have you read this book?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    We DO have a water shortage

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    .

    Sports

    Silveria has been there through thick and thin

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    Whose seniors will go out in style at Causeway Classic No. 61?

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    LBSU takes down UCD in matchup of Big West’s best

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    UCD men get to 2-0

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Wire sports briefs: Kings cruise past Chicago

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Raiders beat K.C. to snap a 16-game skid

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    Aggie women start 4-game homestand Saturday at 11 a.m.

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    The Purple Ones to play tribute to Prince

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1′ fails to catch fire

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    Wealth of Nations show is Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    Davis Feminist Film Festival accepting submissions

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    Come ‘Home for the Holidays’ and benefit school arts

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

     
    Founding pastor of UCC’s now-famous painting on display

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    Automakers debut key models at L.A. Auto Show

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, November 21, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Real Estate Review

    Featured Listing

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER1

    Professional Services Directory

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER2

    Lyon Real Estate

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER3

    RE/Max Gold

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER4

    Kim Eichorn

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER5

    Joe Kaplan

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER6

    Melrina A Maggiora

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER6

    Marcelo Campos

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER7

    Lennar Homes

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER7

    Tracy Harris

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER8

    Yolo FCU

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER8

    Team Traverso

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER8

    Travis Credit Union

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER9

    Coldwell Banker

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER10

    Ciana Wallace

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER12

    Diane Lardelli

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER12

    Jamie Madison

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER12

    Malek Baroody

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER13

    Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER13

    Julie Partain

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER14

    Coldwell Banker

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER15

    Karen Waggoner

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER17

    Jamie Madison & Associates

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER17

    Cynthia Gerber

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER17

    Dana Hawkins & Caitlin McCalla

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER18

    Chris Snow

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER18

    Open House Map

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER19

    F1rst Street Real Estate

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER20